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Okta co-Founder: Every company has to become a tech company

McKenzie DeGroot
Production Assistant

Companies are ramping up their push into cybersecurity.

This year saw a lot of high profile tech names go public, with cloud security firm Zscaler (ZS) leading the market charge by returning 37% so far this year, according to Bloomberg data. Meanwhile, the cybersecurity sector as a whole is projected to grow 80% over the next four years, according to Statista.

With high-profile breaches and data controversies becoming more commonplace, one executive told Yahoo Finance recently that every company has to be more proactive when it comes to cybersecurity.

“If you think about what’s happening in the world, there’s more technology happening everyday. Every company has to become a technology company,” Frederic Kerrest, the COO and co-founder of identity and security firm Okta (OKTA) told YFi PM.

“They’ve got to figure out better ways of using the software that’s out there,” he added.

‘More and more bad guys’

Okta launched in 2009, and became the most successful software IPO of 2017. With over 6,550 customers, the provider serves companies such as 20th Century Fox, MLB, JetBlue, Nordstrom, and Slack.

With more technology comes more responsibility for these companies — and the recognition that best technology practices aren’t just for companies named Facebook, Apple or Google.

“Every company is on the internet, every company has to become a digital company,” Kerrest said.

“Protecting all of that [customer] information, especially as there’s more and more out there, and there are more and more bad guys, is something that is becoming a front and center for every company,” he added.

Okta Co-Founder: every company should be a tech company (Courtesy: Getty Images)

With some fearing a looming recession, companies may be tempted to cut back on technology spending. Kerrest told Yahoo Finance that he wasn’t concerned about how that might impact cybersecurity.

“If you think about why companies invest in technology, it’s either the top line, to accelerate revenue, or it’s to reduce cost and enhance security,” said Kerrest.

“Neither of those things are things that I think you’re going to see a pull-back when the economy softens,” he continues. “People still have to worry about how they can continue to grow their business,” he added.


McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie

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